Petrol threat patient walks out of evacuated Galashiels Health Centre

A PATIENT who doused himself in petrol while holding a lighter and who forced a three hour stand-off at a health centre in the Scottish Borders has surrendered to police, writes Bob Burgess.

Around 30 staff and an unknown number of patients were evacuated from the Galashiels complex at 2.30pm.

Shortly before 5.30pm the man was brought from the centre by police and taken to a waiting ambulance.

A few minutes earlier a policeman came out of the town centre building holding a screen wash bottle in which it is believed the petrol had been contained.

One of those evacuated told our reporter at the scene Kenny Paterson that the man had been in a doctor’s surgery when he poured petrol over himself.

He said the patient was holding a lighter in his other hand and told how staff managed to evacuate everyone from the complex, leaving the man inside.

Police sealed off the area and closed the adjacent Asda petrol station while staff were taken to Tesco supermarket.

A trained negotiator was alerted and arrived shortly after 4pm and began talking to the man.

Calum Campbell the chief executive of NHS Borders which operates the centre was at the incident.

During the stand-off he confirmed that the patient inside had threatened to self-harm.

Fire crews ran out hoses to the building and ambulance crews stood by.

Galashiels Health Centre is home to four GP practices and also provides other health care services.